I’ve been very specific about tracking my money for a few years. Specifically putting a large portion each month into various savings buckets: Prudent Reserve, Vacation, Dental, Retirement.
Every month, I’ve poured some of my abundance into a bucket, but today I come to find that I have been hoarding it. Like an off-the-grid nut job, I’ve surround myself with “In Case of Emergency” water buckets while my crops wither and die of emergency thirst.
Because of my summer of switching jobs, I only earned half-pay for August. Instead of using my already-filled buckets of money (e.g. my savings) to make up for that gap, I winnowed every spending category down:
Food? Spend Less!
Home supplies? Spend Less!
Philanthropy, clothing, entertainment? Spend Less! Need Nothing! Go hungry!
I have a pattern for this. No matter how much I earn, I live like a pauper.
And this morning, I realized what the hell is the point in having a reservoir if you refuse to use it during a drought?
Instead of using the gifts I’ve already been given to support me during a time of need, I tell myself to have fewer needs?
That’s what got me on the “very strict about money” train in the first place: Not acknowledging, honoring, and supporting my own needs, but denying them. (You may by now realize that money is just one symptom of a pattern exists in the rest of my emotional life…)
Need less, be less, have less, do less, share less, laugh less, enjoy less.
And, indeed, joyless is how I’ve felt this month as I watched my field dry and crack while stubbornly refusing to look at the bountiful well that I’ve already filled.
I’m stubborn about that well. I’m stubborn because I fear if I take anything from it, there won’t be more. Ever. If I use the abundance I’ve been given, there may come a day when it ends. But, dude, that’s the fucking point! Today, this month, is a month when the money stream dried up — so USE WHAT YOU HAVE SAVED!!!
It all seems so simple when you type it in capital letters… but this lesson, the lesson that says, “Feed and water your-fucking-self, Molly!” is one that I am still very slowly (and even painfully) learning.